Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday's Letters {November 30, 2012} and Friday's Fitness

dear readers: I love linking up each week for Friday's Letters and Fitness Fridays.  To avoid post overload, I decided to group both into one post.  I hope you enjoy!


dear kevin: Last night was so much fun!  Good food, good music, great company. :) You make me laugh.  Constantly.  And this past year? The best.  Ever.  I love you! dear boys:  There are only 26 days until Christmas!  We are going to have so much fun and you two make the holidays so much better!  I love you to the hot planet and back! dear christmas cards: It doesn't look like you're going to be mailing yourself.  I guess I'll have to work on you.... dear She Reads Truth: Thank you for today's post.  I needed it.  dear pvbody: I am looking forward to your box coming to my house!  I even made my husband watch your sample box video last night.  I think he thought I was crazy.  ;) dear FedEx, UPS, USPS, and Santa Claus: I like getting home to packages from you, but it does make me a little worried when I can see them on my front porch from the street.  Could you maybe try to hide them behind the trees beside our door or even behind the columns?  We don't want anything to go missing you know.  dear the people who see me everyday: I promise that I have more than one coat.  A lot more than one. It's just that I really love my Tiffany Blue pea coat that I got at Banana Republic like 10 years ago.  It looks like new and people ask me almost everyday where I got it.  I just like being bright and cheery (and warm!).  dear husband: I'm jealous that you are off work today and get to pick up the little ones and even have school lunch with one.  I know my three favorite guys will have a great day though!  dear pinterest: You give me so many good ideas! We're going to be spending lots of time together this month.  dear readers: I'm so glad y'all keep coming back!  I'm having so much fun getting to know you all!  And if you like it, I'm thinking about doing a giveaway of some of my favorite things when I get 100 followers.  What do you think?  Are you in?  dear twitter: I'm sorry I have spoken ill of you before.  Truth is, you're actually fun and I've been enjoying hanging out with you the past two days.  I'm going to try not to quit you again.  Follow me here.  @learningthings1



I'm linking up with my friend Jen for Fitness Fridays.

Normally, I do a weekly breakdown of my exercise and eating, but today, I'm going to do my month in review.

I think I've written before how I keep track of my workouts.  I know it may seem a little OCD to do it this way, but I track my runs (mileage and time) and other workouts in my Erin Condren Calendar, in an Excel spreadsheet I've made (if you're interested in an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of your goals, runs, and other workouts, shoot me an e-mail at thethingsimlearning@gmail.com.  I'll be happy to share!), and through the FitLinxx system at my gym.  

I know you're thinking I'm crazy, but I do it all these ways for these reasons:  
1.  I like to see the pink (yes, I track my workouts in pink) written in my calendar because it makes me feel good when I see that most days have some pink on them!
2. I can keep a rolling tally of my mileage in my Excel file and it's easier to look at it than add up my miles on my paper calendar to ensure I meet my monthly goal of 50.
3. My gym gives points for weight lifted and cardio workouts completed and just face it, I like getting t-shirts which are the result of hitting new levels.

November was a good month.  Despite not running as much as I normally do (Hello Thanksgiving and nagging cold!), I still managed to get in 51 miles.  Most of that was due to two longer runs of 7 and 8 miles which also happened to mean I set and broke a personal record of longest runs completed.  I ran 8 miles in 60 minutes flat two Saturdays ago.

I also did 17 other workouts.  These workouts include weight workouts at the gym and the new workout I've started doing with sit ups, pull ups, and push ups at home.  The graphic below shows a breakdown of my weight workouts at the gym by the muscle group and reps.  As you can see, I spend over half my time working my lower body (aka glutes... these exercises are working, too, let me tell you!) and abs.  


I can really tell a big difference in my body since I've started doing the sit ups, pull ups, push ups routine.  My arms look more defined and I can really tell a difference in my abs.

My December Goals:
3 gym workouts each week
2 other workouts each week (this would be sit ups, push ups, pull ups)
Run everyday even if it's only 1 mile
Run 10 miles - I've told myself if I can run 10 miles by Christmas, I'm going to sign up for a half marathon.  

Do you give yourself fitness goals each month?

Coming Next Week
My Christmas Wish List of Things I Want to Do
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas and a DIY Wreaths (Pinterest)
My Favorite Things
Plus more!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Christmas Guilt

Do you ever get the Christmas Guilt?  You know what I'm talking about, right?  It comes in lots of different shapes and sizes and rears its ugly head around this time of year.

It's that guilt you feel because you know how fortunate and blessed you are to not only have a warm home, but a Christmas tree that has gifts for your spouse, children, family, friends, and yourself under it.  Gifts that aren't necessities, but rather things that are wanted.

It's the guilt you feel because you really, really want a certain something, but feel bad because it's more than you usually want to spend, but you know you'd enjoy it.

It can be the guilt you feel because it hasn't been a great year and you really can't afford to give a lot of presents or any at all and you just feel guilty about it.

It could be the guilt you feel because your schedule is jam packed with holiday parties, shopping, and just stuff and you aren't experiencing the true Joy of Christmas.

The guilt could also come wrapped in a box that says "you aren't good enough as a mother or spouse" on its tag.  And when you open that box, inside are pictures of all the things that clog up your time and take time away from your family especially this time of year.

You might feel guilty because there are 101 things you want to get done to make Christmas even more special and meaningful and memorable for your family, but you just don't know how you can fit it all in.  (I definitely have a tendency to go into overdrive and try to do all these great things around every holiday.  I'll share with you my Christmas wish list of these sorts of things on Monday and how I'm going to tackle them guilt and stress free!)

This Christmas guilt rears its head in my life sometimes.  It's not a constant, but it's there nonetheless.  My family and I are blessed beyond measure.  As we shop for the latest and hottest "wants" for our kids, families, and ourselves, I sometimes just feel bad.  Bad because we have so much that we know we don't need.  For most of us in our family, gifts don't show love (I'm definitely one of those physical touch, quality time people as is my husband which works out well for both of us.  I will admit that I do like opening gifts though, but nothing that my husband or family could give me makes me think they love me more.), but that doesn't stop us from buying them.  (On a side note: I'm not advocating not giving gifts at Christmas.  We all like them and it's not something I want to stop doing.  I'm simply saying that sometimes as I'm shopping, I get hit with that feeling that there are so many people who have so much less and I'm buying another shirt that I don't need.  And this usually occurs when I'm trying to come up with things to add to my Christmas list, not when I'm shopping for others because I really do get a ton of joy out of shopping for things I think my people will like.)

I find myself pouring through websites to buy more, more, and more just to do it because it's Christmas.  I think of all the things I've been blessed with like my family, an incredible job, a home, a car, the ability to take vacations, and more stuff than I know what to do with and I think about those that aren't able to say those things.

This year, I want to give intentionally.  I want to give gifts to my husband, our boys, and our families that are things that they will enjoy, maybe not buy for themselves, and aren't bought just to have another present to unwrap.  I want to remember the True Meaning of the season and let that shine through all I do.  I want to be a good steward of what I have and instead of just buying to buy and planning activities to check them off a list, I want to use my resources and talents in the best ways that I can.

What do you do when the Christmas Guilt hits?  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Little Bit of Everything!



I'm linking up with Shanna today for Random Wednesday!

I am enjoying this time of year!  I love the summer, but I'm really enjoying this fall.

We have most of our Christmas decorations up inside, but still have the outside to go.  And I've really started liking those cute little light up reindeer.

I don't consider myself to be the craftiest person, but I had an idea of something to use inside to decorate for Christmas and I'm going to try it and then PIN it!

My eyes have been watering all day and I feel like the loss of eye liner in the corner of my left eye makes me look like I've been crying.  I haven't.

I think I wear dresses and skirts to work too much.  I wore pants last week and my co-worker made that comment.  I like my dresses though!

I'm ready to Christmas shop some more!  We've gotten a good start on the boys and some other family members, but I want to buy more for my husband!  

I should be a spokesperson for Tracy Negoshian.  I only had seven dresses arrive on my doorstep this week.  Granted they were on sale and some are for gifts, but really, seven dresses.

I'm super excited that OUR WEDDING ALBUM IS ON ITS WAY!

I really want some monogrammed things for Christmas with my new monogram!  My old monogram was funny if you consider carrying around cute monogrammed things with the name of a big zoo animal embroidered on them funny!

I got my hair cut and colored last night (I know it's a surprise to you that my hair isn't STILL naturally blonde. ha!) and didn't wash it this morning because my stylist told me not to.  And it makes me feel dirty because I don't like to not wash my hair!

Speaking of hair appointments, my stylist is definitely younger than me (and I'm only 26) and she gets Botox. Granted, I think she's really pretty and has great looking skin, but this young!  It made me feel old.  

I think I've had a productive week!

I want to polish my finger nails bright red, but then I know they'll get chipped and I don't want to have to redo them.

I still haven't been to the new yogurt place in town and I love frozen yogurt covered in things like Reese Cups, caramel, and some fruit with an emphasis on the some.  (Hint, hint Mr. Handsome: Let's go this weekend! :) )

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Women Connect '12!


I'm linking up with Becky today for Women Connect '12.  

Writing about myself is not something I like to do.  I know that sounds like a contradiction since I write a lot about myself, but it's different writing a post about me that's to show people who I am when I don't even know how to put who all of me is down on paper-- err, computer screen.  

Writing this post is almost like getting ready for a first date with the guy you have a huge crush on.  Or getting ready for an interview for your dream job.  You want to make a good impression, you really do, but you don't want to be too over the top or too eager acting.  I guess I'll just cut to the chase and tell you about myself and hope (fingers crossed) you find that this little spot of mine is something you'll enjoy. 

I'm Anna and this is my little space called The Things I'm Learning?  Why that name?  Well, because I like to learn, reflect, and grow and at this stage in my life, I'm learning a lot.  



I'm learning about being a wife.  On October 13, 2012, I married my sweet husband, Kevin (or KT as I sometimes call him).  He is a gift from God, the one I prayed for my whole life, the man I love more than anything in this world, and my better half.  He's an incredible husband and father and I am so blessed that he is mine.  He makes me laugh louder than I've ever laughed, smile wider than I've ever smiled (and I smile.  A lot.), and love deeper than I ever knew was possible.  



I'm learning about being a parent, too.  When I married Kevin, I officially became Anna Belle (the name the boys' gave me a long time ago) to our two precious boys.  (We don't do the whole "step" thing.)  I feel so blessed to get to be Anna Belle of these two sweet boys for forever.  They are a gift and have expanded my life in ways I didn't know were possible. I am so thankful for the bond that we have, the memories we make, and the love I have for them that is unlike any love that I ever knew existed.  



I'm also learning more about faith and grace.  As a child of God, I know that I fail miserably over and over, but I have also experienced God's grace and forgiveness in ways that are hard to explain.  I grew up in a Christian home and I'm so thankful for that.  I know that my life is far from perfect and I've made my fair share of mistakes, but I know that God is right beside me and has been leading and guiding me even when I haven't paid Him much attention.  I've learned that prayer and time in God's Word is vital to each day, but I don't always take the time to make the time with Him.  I'm working on that one.

I'm also learning more and more about healthy living.  I've always considered myself athletic and have eaten healthy (for the most part - those Lays Original Chips and Reese Peanut Butter Cups hold a special place in my heart!), but over the last year or two, I've really started to consistently embrace a healthy lifestyle.  I'm a runner.  I run 50-70 miles each month and in addition to running, work out 4-5 days a week.  I believe that we pour so much of ourselves into taking care of others, our homes, and our jobs, that we sometimes forget to take care of those two areas that matter most: our faith and our bodies.  


What else should you know about me?

By day, I'm a marketing and PR professional.  I started the job I've always wanted in August.  

If you knew the ins and outs of what I do all day, you'd be surprised that I don't really use Twitter personally that much.  And I don't post much more than pictures on Facebook.

I love the beach.  I grew up not too far from the coast and it's my favorite place in the world.  It's a good thing, too, because KT loves it, too.  We even got engaged there.

I am the oldest child and have a sister who is almost nine years younger than me.  I love her like she's mine and can't believe she's filling out college applications.

My parents are the best.  They have loved me unconditionally, supported me in all that I've done, and have shown me what a blessing marriage and parenting is.  They gave me the freedom to make my own decisions and encouraged me to be myself.  That itself is a blessing.  

My grandparents are the best, too.  I grew up within ten minutes of both sets of my grandparents and know how rare it is to have the relationships I have with them today.  

My new family is incredible, too.  Kevin's parents and sister and her family don't feel like in-laws.  They're family.  I'm so glad that we all enjoy doing things together and our whole family (mine and Kevin's) gets along great, too.  

I love the Olympics.

I sometimes over do it (so says my husband and I have to agree with him completely on this) in that I try to fit in too much.

I love spy shows.  Covert Affairs and White Collar are my favorites.

I also love Survivor.  My husband got me hooked on this last year.  He really wants to go.

With all the TV I'm talking about, you'd think we watch it all the time.  Really, we don't.  That's the beauty of On Demand.

My family means more to me than anything in this world.

I love photo books.  I make them all the time.  Not literally, but I really make them often.  A family book each year and books for each of our boys of each year and I've recently been making them like crazy of our wedding, honeymoon, and for some Christmas gifts.  

I like to cook and I like to try out recipes.  My favorite recipes are those that have like five ingredients or less in them.

I like to shop and am a devotee of Tracy Negoshian and J.Crew.  

I love books.  I haven't moved quite all of my books to my new house and I really don't know what I'm going to do with them.  I spent much of last night organizing and arranging them.  Yes, we do have an iPad and realize that it's much easier (and takes less space) to read on it, but I like real books psyically in my hands!

I love to smile and laugh.  All the time.  And I'm an optimist.

I'm a Pinterest addict.  Need I say more?  

About me?  It's really not.




Thanksgiving 2012

We had a great Thanksgiving!  It was nice being able to spend so much good quality time with our families and relax some.

Though it technically wasn't a part of the Thanksgiving festivities, we started celebrating Wednesday night with my cousin's baby's first birthday party.  We had a great time at the birthday party with my family.  The boys loved the hay rides (yes, rides) my uncle took them on, playing ping pong, and roasting marshmallows over the fire.

We got up bright and early Thursday morning and I started cooking. I didn't take any pictures while I cooked, but I made these dishes:


Source: frommrstomama.com via Anna on Pinterest


Source: rachelschultz.com via Anna on Pinterest

We ate Thanksgiving lunch with Kevin's family and dinner with mine.  After spending the night with my parents Friday and KT and the boys going on a ride around the farm with my dad, we went down to the beach for an Oyster Roast with Kevin's extended family.  

Though we didn't really Black Friday shop as in really Black Friday shop, we did pick up a camera and a new Dyson vaccum cleaner, too! 






Sunday, November 25, 2012

30 Days of Thanks {Day 25}


Day 25 {Worship}

I am thankful for worship and the ability we have to worship with a group of like Believers.  Worshipping our Savior is something that I think I take for granted.  In America, I can talk about God, write about His grace, and worship Him freely without a second thought.  I'm thankful that we live in a country that allows us this freedom.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

30 Days of Thanks {Day 24}


Day 24 {Books}

I am thankful for books today.  (My husband is really going to love this post! :) ) I love to read and while I've read a few books on my iPad/iPhone, I just can't do it.  I like real books as in hardback/paperback books.  I may also have a slight obsession with photo books (Admitting it is the first step, right?) and I'm thankful for those!


Friday, November 23, 2012

30 Days of Thanks {Day 23}


Day 23 {Time with Family}

I'm thankful for time with family today.  I realize that we are extremely lucky that almost all of our family lives close to us (within 45 minutes) and we see them all often, but I'm especially thankful for the special times - like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and birthdays because it means we get to spend some extra time and extra special time with them.

Throughout the Thanksgiving holiday, we'll have spent time with both sides of our families, my grandparents, and many of our aunts, uncles, and cousins.  We always tell the boys that besides God, family is the most important thing in life.  And it really is.


Tracy Negoshian Black Friday Sale!

It's no secret that I love Tracy Negoshian dresses. I wear them everywhere: work, church, out with my husband, and even for Thanksgiving yesterday.

They are easy to dress up or down and the best part is you don't have to iron them. (This may be part of the reason I love them so much!)

Today, you can shop Black Friday TN style. All of her Fall Sale dresses are 25% off when you enter blackfriday12 at checkout. TN dresses make great gifts for moms, sisters, and friends (and yourself, too!).

Thursday, November 22, 2012

30 Days of Thanks {Day 22}


Day 22 {Thanksgiving, Food, and Parades}

I am thankful for Thanksgiving today because of what the day means.  I'm also thankful for all the food we get to eat and the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade!  


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

30 Days of Thanks {Day 21}


Day 21 {Our Home}

I am thankful for our home today.  I know that not every one has a place to live and a home, and this time of year, thinking about that and realizing the abundance of things we've been blessed with makes me feel bad.  I am so thankful and grateful that we have not only a house to live in, but that we have a home.  A home that is full of memories, pictures of our family, laughter and smiles, and things that represent us.  I want our home to be a place where our families and friends feel at home.  While I love our house, I love the people that make it our home even more.



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

30 Days of Thanks {Day 20}


Day 20 {Technology}

I am thankful for technology today.  I honestly don't know how people did it without technology!  Technology makes things so much easier.  I can be in the grocery store and look up a recipe on my iPhone to make sure I've gotten everything I need.  I use my GPS watch on my runs to know exactly how far I've gone.  My iPad lets me browse the Internet without having to open up my laptop or sit at my computer.  I can shop, read newspapers and magazines, keep up with family and friends, and take photos with something that's smaller than my hand.

While I sometimes think we have too much connectivity (I think that's why I just can't get into Twitter) and want to get rid of all the "noise", I'm really thankful for technology and our ability to do practically anything using it.  I'm also thankful for the advancements in everything from medicine to athletics to manufacturing that are all possible because of technology.


Easy Poppy Seed Bread

Have you ever had Poppy Seed Bread or Poppy Seed Muffins?  If you haven't, you're missing out!  I love Poppy Seed Bread, but most of the recipes are so complicated and take a while to make.  Enter this recipe (courtesy of my grandma).  It's easy, has literally 6 ingredients, and tastes so good!


Easy Poppy Seed Bread
Ingredients:
1 Box Butter Pecan Cake Mix
1 Box Instant Coconut Pudding (Vanilla works as well)
4 Eggs Slightly Beaten
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Hot Water
1/2 Can (small) Poppy Seeds

Directions:
Combine first 4 ingredients.
Add 1/2 can of poppy seeds and 1 cup hot water and mix.
Pour into two greased loaf pans (I use 9") and bake on 325 degrees for 30 - 45 minutes.

I made a double recipe of this Sunday night and ended up with two loaves of bread (I made large loaves) and a dozen and a half muffins.  They are great!



Monday, November 19, 2012

30 Days of Thanks {Days 17, 18, and 19}


{Day 17} Rest

I am thankful for rest today.  If you're like us, you get so busy and have so many things to do, that rest often gets taken for granted.  I'm thankful for a restful day full of many of my favorite things.

{Day 18} Smiles

I am thankful for smiles today.  I love to smile and do it a lot.  You don't ever know how much a simple smile can change someone's day.  

{Day 19} Cooking

I am thankful for cooking today.  Last night, I made poppy seed bread (recipe coming tomorrow!) and it reminded me of how much I really enjoy cooking in my own kitchen with my sweet family running around near me.  I can't wait to try out some new recipes for Thanksgiving!



Friday, November 16, 2012

Fitness Friday, Friday's Letters, and 30 Days of Thanks

Today's Fitness Fridays, Friday's Letters, and 30 Days of Thanks posts are all combined.  Enjoy!



dear Friday: I'm glad you're here. dear husband: I'm excited for our date tonight!  Breaking Dawn Part 2 here we come!  dear yucky cold: Please leave.  Apparently my at home remedy of sweating you out isn't working.  dear pinterest: I'm addicted.  All over again. dear husband: I'm excited to celebrate our first married Thanksgiving!  I'm so thankful for you and our sweet family.  dear boys: Your smiles light up my life.  You won't ever know the impact you've had on me. dear Thanksgiving: I'm excited about you. And excited about cooking!  dear God: I know I'm not as faithful as I need to be in my time with You, but thank you for being with me.  Thank you for Your answered prayers this week and thank you for growing me.



I'm linking up with Jen for Fitness Fridays.

Today, I want to talk about something I think we all struggle with: fitting it all in!  I feel like a broken record when I say I make exercise a part of my daily life, but I say it over and over again because it's true and that's how we should all be, too!

Kevin tells me I over do it sometimes and I know he's right.  Truth is, I really want to be the best wife for him, best Anna Belle for our sweet boys, the best I can be at my job, a stronger Christian who spends more time with God, and as fit as I can be.  In real life, it's hard to be your best in every area, but these are the most important things in my life, and I want to be my best in all of these areas.  Sometimes, I get tired. Really tired.  

But you know what?  If I don't exercise, I'm even tired-er (if that's a word.).  And I don't feel like I'm the best for any of my people, my job, or myself.  

The things I'm going to share below are my advice, my recipe for success, if you will, on how to fit it all in.  There are areas that I need to improve upon and things I can do better, but knowing these things helps.


  1. Plan Ahead  - Plan everything ahead.  Plan the days you'll exercise (should be 3-5 days a week), run, and do a long run (if you do these).  Plan your meals.  I downloaded a weekly meal calendar, modified it to fit my needs, and plan out what we'll eat each night every Friday.  Sometimes, we'll end up going out to eat or having something different that what I've planned, but it sure helps me use the foods we already have at home and buy what we need at the grocery store.  Plan your clothes.  Ok, I struggle with this one for me.  I don't plan my clothes for every day, but we do get out clothes for the boys and Kevin each night and iron them so they're ready in the morning.  Sometimes, if we're feeling really good, we'll even get out 3-4 outfits per person and have them ready on Sunday night.  When you plan ahead, you have less room to not do something because you've already planned it.
  2. Be Intentional - When it comes to exercise and fitness, you have to be intentional.  Toning up, getting faster and stronger, and/or losing weight doesn't happen over night.  It's a process.  And it's a process you have to start over and over again if you aren't intentional about it.  Just as our body needs water and food each day, we also need exercise.  
  3. Keep a Record - I think it's important to keep a record of your exercise.  In my planner (Erin Condren if you're curious), I use a pink pen to keep track of my runs and workouts.  I keep track of my miles and time as well as what parts of my body I've worked out and when I do my ab work, push ups, and pull ups, I write those numbers down.  I also have an Excel spreadsheet (you can call me a nerd) that I log all of this in.  If that's not enough, my gym's FitLinxx system tracks the weight lifted and I can also add in all of my cardio information to keep track of everything on their website.  Keeping a record of your workouts not only lets you see how you're improving, it also shows you when you've been slack.
  4. Don't Make Excuses - I don't like excuses. Not one bit. There are always some people who are looking for excuses about why they didn't do this or that or why they can't lose weight/exercise.  I don't like them (not the people, the excuses).  Excuses are just our way of making ourselves feel better about doing something we need to do (or said we'd do) and we didn't do.  I feel too tired to exercise sometimes, but I do it anyway.  Thursday morning is a prime example.  I've got this yuck that's going around and really could have used a few more minutes of sleep or some downtime after getting ready, but I wanted to get a workout in because I had an event on Thursday night.  I went ahead and got ready (yes, I get up, shower, put on makeup, dry my hair, workout, shower again, fix my hair, throw on my planned clothes, and run out the door with some Chobani yogurt and pretzels as my breakfast (and I do it this way a few days a week because it's the only time I can get in a workout or shorter run and also because I feel better when I workout in the morning) - when I say I'm intentional about fitting it in, I'm intentional. :)  ) and did a short workout.  I ran a mile and every quarter mile, I stopped and did 10 push ups (the real kind), 25 sit up planks with 10 pounds, and 10 pull ups.  Any workout is better than none.  Don't make excuses.
When I went back and read what I wrote, I feel like I sound like a drill Sergeant.  I didn't intend to.  I just wanted to offer a few ways to fit it all in.  We're all busy, we all work (whether inside the home or out), we have families, we have household responsibilities, and we have a body to take care of.  Don't make excuses. You don't have to train like an Olympian or think of exercise as something that makes you tired (which it will when you first start and it will when you fit it in your busy schedule and it will when you run hard), but something you're doing to invest in yourself.  The muscle tone, definition, and energy you feel will be worth it.  I promise!  


Day 16 {Prayers} 

I am thankful for prayers today.  Prayers can be simple or elaborate, but they mean so much.  I am thankful that I live in a country where I can pray without trouble.  I am thankful for my prayer journals, too.  Since I was 14/15, I've kept prayer journals.  I haven't written everyday, but I like to journal my prayers.  I tend to fall asleep when I say them laying in bed and lost my concentration other times.  Having a journal helps me tremendously.

I am thankful that I can turn over all those things that worry me (trust me, there are a lot), stress me out, and are out of my control (as much of life is) to One who is always in control.  I'm thankful that I can praise God for His mighty blessings and grace.  I'm thankful for prayers.






Thursday, November 15, 2012

30 Days of Thanks {Day 15}


Day 15 {Running}

Today, I am thankful for running.  It's no secret that I love to run.  I really do.  Running makes me feel energized and strong.  When I miss days of running, I just feel off.  Running is not an option to me or something I do when I can find time.  I make it a priority.  

I run for several reasons: for my health, for my body as in the way it looks (that may be vain, but I want to look the best I can and running helps with that), and as an example (I want the boys to grow up seeing the importance of exercise and treating your body well.  K.C. even came home from school one day last week talking about the exercises they talked about at school and how it's good for you and he wanted to go run.).  And to be completely honest, one of the other perks of running is that I don't really worry too much about eating treats like this Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting that I plan to make for Thanksgiving next week:


When I run, I feel good.  I like the way my legs and body feel when I'm all sweaty after a long run or even after a shorter interval run like the one I had to fit in this morning before work.  Short runs are better than no runs!

Tomorrow, I'll be linking up with my friend Jen for Fitness Fridays and talking about fitting it all in.

For more on my running, click the {Running} tab at the top of the page.  For posts on improving your runs or becoming a runner, follow these links:



Our Wedding {Personal Touches}

I like things that have meaning, so when we were planning our wedding, I wanted to make sure we included some personal touches.

The broach on my bouquet belonged to my great-grandmother Grace.  I remember her very well and decided to use it as my "something old" and "something borrowed."


This blue elephant necklace was one of my "something blue" from Tracy Negoshian.  My other "something blue" was a pair of sapphire and diamond earrings Kevin gave me for Christmas.


Kevin's parent's used this vase at their wedding.  


 This table cloth belonged to Kevin's great-grandparents and the candlesticks were my great-grandparents.  My parents used these candle sticks at their wedding, too.

The knives.  Back in 1940, it must have been routine to go to the World's Fair.  The pink knife belongs to my grandma.  Her parents bought it at the World's Fair in New York.  Since then, it was used to cute the cake at some family weddings including my grandparents in 1952 and my parents in 1981.  When we got the knife from Nana, Kevin realized it was the same one as the blue knife he had that belonged to his aunt.  We used both knives to cut our cakes.

Even though we only had family at our wedding, we decided to do a quest book.  We had some photos taken this summer by a friend of mine and I used them to make a photo book.  On several pages, we had some special things included.  Meredith sang "Shine On Us" during our wedding and one page included pieces of that song.  Another page had Song of Solomon 3:4: "I have found the one whom my soul loves."  We also included Ruth 1:16: "Where you go I'll go, where you stay I'll stay."

On the table, we had some photos of us and one of our family along with a note asking our family to write us notes.  When we got home from our honeymoon, we were able to read all the things that were written to us. It was such a special thing and I'm so glad we have this to always look back on and remember!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

30 Days of Thanks {Day 14}


Day 14 {Spontaneity}

I am thankful for spontaneous things today.  My sister and I had a spontaneous lunch date and it made me happy.  My life feels very scheduled for the most part and I'm a planner by nature, but I love spontaneous things like a text from my sweet sister asking me to go to lunch.  


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One Month

I can't believe that we've been married one month today!  It seems like it was just yesterday.

Our first month of marriage has been great and filled with so many memories.  We are blessed.

Kevin is the most amazing husband.  I could not have dreamed of someone better to share my life with than him.

In honor of our first month of marriage, I want to share some of my favorite pictures of us from our wedding day.

Happy One Month, KT!  I love you more today than ever!























A Happy Wife in New Orleans





Day 13 {Marriage}

I am thankful for my marriage today and everyday.  God blessed me tremendously when he brought Kevin into my life.  I pray that I show him how much I love and cherish him each day and that God continues to grow me as his wife.  I am so thankful God chose him to be my husband and me to be his wife!